03 August 2010

A Bouldering Session and a bit more Trad

I said in my previous post that I would be getting up early on Monday so that I could get a bouldering session in at the Bowderstone before starting work at 11:30am and that's what I did. See I even made a video to prove that I did...

Why do we climb?

This is the question that arose from today's climbing activities. The venue was Gouther Crag once again, and one of the routes, Hernia (HVS+, 5a), was climbed on my previous visit. However, it was the ascent of the bold Bloodhound (E2-, 5b) which made me think about what my response to such a question would be.

Gouther Crag with some farming machinery belonging to Truss Gap Farm in the foreground.

I suppose the answer to such a question could be hypothesised for countless years, but what struck me as I belayed my partner on Bloodhound was the very obvious dangers he was putting himself through as he made countless moves about very poor, and spaced, protection, but why did he, and many other's before him, do such a thing?

On the first pitch of Truss Buttress' Truss Buttres (VD).

One climber mentions, in the trailer for the DVD, Crackoholic, which appeared on Dave MacLeod's blog on Monday: "... It's kind of a paradox, you approach death in order to feel alive." This may be the very reason why we do such a dangerous thing, but how can this be justified to others?

Trying to get some gear in after some bold climbing on Bloodhound (E2-, 5b).

This also came to mind whilst belaying on Bloodhound. On several occasions, when my partner was complaining about the lack of good, quality gear, I played through, in my head, the many different scenarios that could occur if the climber's foot slipped, or a move was misread, or a hold broke. I could run downhill in the hope of taking in enough rope to prevent them hitting the floor if they fell, but if that wasn't good enough, what would I do?

I could administer first aid if they did deck out, but there was no phone signal at the crag so how would I raise further help if needed? It struck me at that point that at times climbing can be a selfish past time; you might be able to justify to yourself the dangers of climbing, but how can these be justified to others who may be responsible for you on that one occasion when you came that bit too close to approaching death?

Good lines, stay safe and see you on the wet stuff...

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